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Opportunity and Innovation: The Future of Digital Music

The most significant thing that struck me at Digital Music Forum West over the past two days is that despite the dismal state of the music industry – and the economy as a whole – there’s tremendous opportunity for growth right now in digital music.

The opportunity is large and out there for creators, investors, and artists who are willing to take risks through experimentation and outside-of-the-proverbial-box thinking. I found the panels to be inspiring because something exciting is percolating under the surface this time around. Discussions were less about policy – and more about the encouragement of creating and discovering something new.

Many of the new tools invoke change and are on the cusp of something great all while taking the needs of the listener/user in mind.

Buzzwords: pandora, imeem, recommendation, discovery, user generated content, tags, API, ad supported, niche.

As listeners increasingly participate in the process of music selection, recommendation and playback, I wonder if editorial heavy sites like Pitchfork and Stereogum will eventually be edged out by sites like Hype Machine (blogs aggregator), playlist.com and The Filter (discovery), all of which empower the user to find and share new music on their own.

What do you think?

Create / Fixate’s annual photography show (LA)

I’ve never been to one of these, has anyone? Are they fun? -n.

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CREATE:FIXATE presents

BACKSCATTER
The Annual All Photography Show
AUDIO LAB
HOUSE : TECHNO : DOWNTEMPO : BREAKS :EXPERIMENTAL : WORLD RHYTHMS : LIVE MUSIC

LAB .01
John Tejada Palette / Pokerflat :
Palenke Soultribe WC MUSIC :
AquaVee Beatnonstop / C:F
Dream Electric- Vibration Institute :
Alfonso Recline Sounds

LAB .02
Raul Campos KCRW
Wolfie- Hipgenesis :
Henry Strange- Fateless Flows
Lyndon Hill Aries Underground
Djun Djun -Pure Tone

OPTICAL LOUNGE
PHOTOGRAPHY : FILM : DIGITAL : MANIPULATED : EXPERIMENTAL
Alyssa Nicol Elias : Anne Hieronymus : Bob Cook : bd Miller : Craig Fritz :
Kitty Clark Fritz : Daisy Rast
David K. Hauver : Flounder Lee : Francis Poland : Greg Cohen : Harry Kao :
Jason Elias : Jim Gentry
Jaimie Trueblood : John Busch : Marianne Williams : Martin J. Waterman :
Ross Johnson : Steve Elkins
Steven Wolkoff : Tim Francis : Vasco Nunes : Walt Jones

INSTALLATION
Franklin Londin

INTERACTIVE LIVE PHOTOGRAPHY
Polite in Public : Michael Rababy

VIDEO PROJECTION
Pascual Sisto : Ross Johnson

JEWELRY
KarmaKulture : Brooke Benson Designs : Yara Afshar

FASHION
F.T.T.K.

CURATED BY Jason Elias PRODUCED BY Michelle Berc MUSIC COORDINATOR
Andrea Giardina

SATURDAY, JULY 28th, 2007 : 7pm – 2am : $15 Admission
Gallery Preview from 4-7pm : $5 suggested donation
1535 Ivar Ave., Hollywood, CA

Bring the Kids during the Gallery Preview from 4-7pm!
The Kids Kreativity Zone will be overflowing with art supplies and is a
Place where youth can dive into their own expression while
parents explore the exhibit. Kids are free before 7 o┬╣clock.

For more information please visit:
http://www.createfixate.com/nexteventM06.html

Twitter, Twitter everywhere

Although it’s been described in many different ways, I like to explain Twitter as a hybrid of one-way Instant Messenging paired with blogging on a small-scale. A user can input info about what s/he is doing at virtually any moment (however inane) provided the user has access to an internet connection or mobile. This message is immediately published and can be accessed in a variety of ways.

The power of Twitter is not in the content itself which can prove to be rather boring (and obnoxious if you’re subscribing to many users via mobile). A typical message can be as simple as “eating noodles”, “sleeping”, or “at a loft party downtown”. The power of Twitter is found not granularly within each message but in it’s vast assortment – and convenience – of methods used for publishing and receiving messages.

Twitters, blogs, or IM’s – whatever you want to call them – are snippets of information kept in snack-sized bits by limiting the content to under 120 words. Messages can be made via mobile, IM, or by publishing from the Twitter website. The can be received via feed, text message, posting to a widget, by visiting the users Twitter webpage, and more.

By being able to know where your friends are and what they are doing at theoretically any moment, an intertwined social web is thus created. This web becomes an extension of one’s own personal network. Think of it as your assortment of myspace friends with the switch in the “on” position.

Just as Marshall Mcluhan describes the car as an extension of the foot and the wheel an extension of the hand, so is the social breadth of messenging – taking communication to a whole new level.

For further reading:

-> Clive Thompson on How Twitter Creates a Social Sixth Sense (Wired)